California Governor Jerry Brown is asking the federal government for help in dealing with the state’s unprecedented tree die-off.
The US Forest Service has been conducting aerial surveys of dead and dying trees across the state. The results aren’t good. Drought and bark beetles have killed at least 22 million trees. Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency.
He called the die-off California’s “worst epidemic of tree mortality in modern history.”
He says its so severe it puts lives at risk and worsens wildfire conditions. The proclamation asks for federal funds to provide technical assistance to land owners and speed removal of trees on federal land.
The Governor’s Office of Emergency Service and CAL FIRE are convening a task force that will coordinate emergency actions.